Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

Lots of people spread lots of (what we politely refer to as) manure when they are speaking or writing.  There are tabloids and blogs and conversations overheard that reek of the stuff.   BUT – there’s a real world application for manure in the farming sector of the economy that is beneficial  (and maybe less toxic than gossip or rumor?), and there’s new tech to help with precise application… Read about it here:

Digi-Star Introduces Rate Control

Manure SpreadersLook – The first step to assessing soil health is to simply look for ...


Digi-Star LLC is headquartered in Fort Atkinson, Wis., with additional facilities and businesses in the Netherlands and United Kingdom. Digi-Star LLC is a global supplier of electronic sensing equipment, precision sensors, displays and software used by farmers and other equipment operators to precisely measure and analyze valuable data from critical farming processes.

Here’s some press about the award they’ve garnered for their technology:  Digi-StarNT8000iEarnsAward

There’s a “world” of farming tech to be explored – visit this site by clicking the logo to learn more:

  ASABE  (American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers)

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The divide between men and women in the field of science has been undergoing a slow, but steady, transformation.  Possibly the most familar female scientist in much of the developed world is Marie Curie.  There have been countless other woman pioneers over the past centuries…whose names are more obscure – but, whose contributions have also been of great value to humankind.

One group who lauds and applauds the brains and outstanding achievements of these women around the globe is EPWS: European Platform of Women Scientists.  Formed in 2005, more than 100 networks of women scientists and organisations promoting women in science from 40 countries have joined the Platform, working for the promotion of equal opportunities in the research fields of all scientific disciplines and aiming to give women scientists a voice in European research policy.

Click on the logo to learn more about this fascinating and dedicated group – explore their website and take note of the data section which addresses both the European and US promotion of science education for females:


Perhaps you’ll be motivated to take advantage of what’s sure to be a rewarding discourse at their upcoming conference to be held in Berlin, Germany in November of 2015 (click on the link for more details…): Ready for Dialogue

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July 9th, 2015

We’ve just wrapped up the July 4th holiday here in the United States, when we remember our break from British rule & celebrate our independence as a new nation.  We’re no longer under the sway of any ‘tyrannical monarchy’; and, in these modern times, there’s a lot to admire about those plucky Brits.

Read about a waterfront locale in Great Britain that’s embracing technology in a bid to increase revenue for its shopkeepers; it’s been dubbed the “digital catapult centre” and looks to improve transportation & healthcare (among other industries) and create job growth in multiple sectors.  The new centre is one of three initiatives in England funded by government-backed body Innovate UK.  According to Neil Crockett, chief executive at the national Digital Catapult Centre, the seaside city is the poster child for the campaign because the whole community is involved in digital innovation.

Having a fast mobile network will be essential if this internet of place is to succeed. The plan is for the University of Surrey to provide a 5G test bed to the new centre – one example of local academia supporting local business.

“Brighton is known for its small, independent retailers, many of which don’t have the resources to create and market a website”…“If we can create a platform that understands the main interests of consumers – such as films, food, clothing brands – then local retailers can send out targeted messages to people’s mobile phones as they walk past”

Brighton: the seaside resort that wants to be the smartest


digital city in England


Brighton England

While, admittedly, there are folks who feel that this type of data bombardment might be a bit overreaching (think: “you’re in my personal space”), this tactic could be a wonderful boon for tourists unfamiliar with a locale to learn about the vendors, travel options and events that are unique to an area.

Planning a trip any time soon?  If the Brighton program succeeds, it will probably expand to other parts of the globe.  You could be that next moving sales target!!  “Brilliant” Smiley face

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June 27th, 2015

…red fish, blue fish”.  If you’re not familiar with this cant, it’s lifted from the children’s book of the same name written by Dr. Seuss.

1fish etc

While we’ve managed to eradicate any number of our finny friends, the oceans, lakes and streams still abound with amazing life.  And there’s a new app, created by students at the University of Minnesota, that’s designed to help catalog their local ‘denizens of the deep’.  The aim: to provide valuable data for managing fisheries’ resources.

Sharing your fish tales


And visit their website iFishForever, to learn more about this joint effort bringing together the talents at University of Minnesota, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and The App Door!

iFish Forever


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The squid is an intriguing marine animal. Squid are strong swimmers and certain species can “fly” for short distances out of the water.

And now scientists are developing camouflage systems inspired by squids’ color-changing skin. If successful, the result could be military clothing that can change its coloration to match the environment. But, there was a limitation which wouldn’t allow soldiers to avoid detection by infrared cameras at night.  Researchers from the University of California at Irvine are developing a stick-on covering that could let them do so.

blog squid

The new material utilizes the same protein that squids use to change color (Photo: Shutterstock)

Squids are able to rapidly change color thanks to cells in their skin known as iridocytes. These contain platelets that are made of a protein called reflectin. By adjusting the thickness and spacing of these platelets, the animals are able to change the manner in which their skin reflects light.

YouTube Preview Image

While it’s still being perfected, the hope is that one day soldiers will carry rolls of the inexpensive stickers with them while on maneuvers. They could just apply them as needed, then peel them off and discard them afterwards.

More and more research is looking at what happens in nature to find ways to advance technology. Do you have any thoughts inspired by something in our environment that can improve the way we live or save lives?

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